Mixin’ It Up with Tamara Schaps, University of Washington Evans School

Posted on August 22, 2015


For the second year in a row, ELGL will be co-hosting an event at the ICMA Conference. This year we’re bringing a couple of pianos and booking a much larger room. More than 500 local government professionals from all areas of local government will attend. Registration will continue until we reach maximum capacity. We recommend registering as soon as possible. Let’s get prepared for the ELGL and ICMA “Mixing in Perfect Harmony” event by hearing from our guests.

Tamara Lynn Schaps


Connect:  LinkedIn and Twitter

If you could pick any three bands (dead or alive) as the opening act for the Dueling Pianos event, which would you choose?

I love every kind of music, so probably Charlie Daniels Band, Foo Fighters, and The Jayhawks.


When I learned the ICMA Conference was being held in Seattle, I thought….
….Sweet! I won’t have to travel or stay in a hotel, as this is my home city!
I knew local government was the career for me when…..
…I started meeting city managers and local government employees through my work as Career Services Director for the Evans School. Immediately I was drawn to the profession as a way to make an immediate impact in one’s local community. Now I’m a huge advocate for the profession and encourage all of our graduate students to consider it as a career path!
Our #13Percent Initiative focuses on increasing diversity in the local government workforce. Give us your perspective — does local government have an issue?
tm-pilbox.global.ssl.fastly.netThe #13Percent fact shocks me. As a woman who aspires to high leadership positions in my field, I need to have mentors and sponsors all along the way who cheer for me, challenge me, and create opportunities for me. Two books that I think all local government leaders should read to help understand and combat the 13% reality are “Lean In” and “Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor.” I also believe in the power of education to expose women to career fields they never would consider otherwise, which is why I now encourage all of the students I meet with, especially women, to consider local government. Sometimes all it takes to inspire someone is a role model saying, “I think you’d make a great city manager someday. Let me connect you with our alum who works in the field.”
The Seahawks lost the Super Bowl by passing instead of running from the 1-yard line. Give us your best tip(s) for rebounding from difficult situations.  
This moment was shocking, brutal, and so very real that it almost brought me to tears! I’m a huge Seahawks football fan and after a full 24-hours of reflection, I finally came to peace with the loss. The Seahawks are risk takers. Most of the time their risks pay off in really big ways (just ask the Green Bay Packers) but every now and then, risks backfire. It just so happened this particular risk backfired at a critical point in the game. Life lesson I learned – risk taking is needed in order to advance and become the best, but taking risks is risky! In the moment when a risk backfires, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What’s next?

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